Draft new deal for Britain in Europe

The Prime Minister has been re-negotiating Britain’s relationship with Europe.with his European counterparts for several months and following key discussions this week a draft new deal for Britain in Europe was published today, delivering that substantial change. Of course, there is still more detail to be worked on, but the Prime Minister has made real progress.

Sajjad is supporting the Prime Minister through these negotiations. Responding to the draft document, speaking from the European Parliament in Strasbourg Sajjad commented: "We have now the crux of a negotiated deal but the essence is this:- Our future lies not in being another Norway or Switzerland, fine nations as they are. Our future lies in leadership and that means a strong United Kingdom in a strong European Union"

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 David Cameron said we needed:

  • A ‘red card’ system for national parliaments to block unwanted EU laws
  • An end to something for nothing welfare for EU migrants
  • No more British taxpayers’ money being used to bail out the Eurozone
  • An agreement that we will keep the Pound, never join the Euro and fair treatment for our currency in Europe; and
  • Britain out of ‘ever closer union’ so we do not become part of a European Superstate

 

Today the EU has published a draft renegotiation agreement that delivers substantial change in all four areas that Britain asked for

At the beginning of this process of renegotiating our relationship with Europe, the Prime Minister set out the four areas where Britain wanted to see substantial change, and the draft agreement published today delivers that substantial change.

Of course there is still detail to be worked on, but we have made real progress.

We were told that many of these changes would be impossible to achieve – but they are all in the draft document. That shows we are delivering for Britain in Europe.

The four areas of change:

1.      Sovereignty

What we said:

We would take Britain out of ‘ever closer union’ and get more power for our Parliament, so that we can never become part of any kind of United States  of Europe and are permanently protected from any further European political integration.

What we are delivering:

  • The draft text says that the UK is not committed to ever closer union in Europe
  • It actually goes further and says that ever closer union cannot be used to justify steps towards political integration in Europe
  • In keeping Britain out of ever closer union, we also wanted to strengthen national parliaments. There is now a proposal for a legally binding agreement that our Parliament can, acting with some others in Europe, block unwanted EU laws with a ‘red card’
  • We have secured a new mechanism to ensure that the EU’s commitment to ‘subsidiarity’ – that decisions should be taken at a national level where possible – is fully implemented, with clear proposals to achieve that.

 

2.      Competitiveness and creating jobs

What we said:

We would make Europe more competitive, so we create jobs and make working people in Britain more financially secure.

What we are delivering

  • A new commitment ensuring that every year the European Commission will review the burden of regulation and every year the European Council can   press to repeal measures that impose a disproportionate burden.
  • So every year, the EU will review how much red tape it is imposing on business; and if it is too much, we will demand that it is cut.
  • There is a specific focus on cutting red tape on small businesses, and for key sectors.

 

3.      Not a single currency club 

What we said:

We would get new protections for Britain to ensure that those countries outside the euro cannot be discriminated against under EU rules, so we keep our economy secure.

What we are delivering:

The draft agreement ensures:

  • Britain will keep the Pound and never join the Euro. 
  • Never again will British taxpayers be liable for Eurozone bailouts.
  • Never again can British business be discriminated against because they’re not in the Eurozone.
  • The British Government and the Bank of England, not Brussels, will keep an eye on the banks so we can continue to keep our taxpayers and savers  safe.
  • Britain can never be forced to join or be affected by any changes the Eurozone decides to make to support itself.
  • The draft also set outs the safeguard that the Prime Minister called for which means Britain can uphold these principles so we can protect our national interest.

 

All these changes would be legally binding.

4.      Controlling immigration from Europe

What we said:

We would reduce immigration from Europe by cutting the benefits EU migrants get, so we prevent our welfare system acting as a magnet, create a fairer system for people who work here and play by the rules, and put an end to something for nothing.

What we are delivering:

  • A new law to prevent EU migrants working here from sending child benefit overseas at UK rates 
  • An emergency brake that will mean people coming to Britain from within the EU will have to wait four years until they have full access to our benefits.
  • This brake will take effect directly after the referendum, once the necessary legislation is passed. And the European Commission has said very clearly  that Britain qualifies already to use it.

 

We have already achieved our two other manifesto commitments to control immigration from Europe:

  • EU migrants will no longer be able to claim Universal Credit while looking for work
  • And if those coming from the EU haven’t found a job within six months, they can now be required to leave Britain.

 

AND: five guarantees:

This draft agreement secures five guarantees. We will:

  • Never be part of the Euro
  • Never be part of the Schengen borderless area
  • Never be part of a European Army
  • Never be forced to bail out the Eurozone with our taxpayers’ money
  • And never be part of a European Superstate.

 

The ongoing renegotiation of Britain’s relationship with the European Union, was committed to in the Conservative Party’s 2015 General Election Manifesto.  Once the renegotiation is concluded, it will be for the British people to decide whether to vote “to leave” or “to remain” in the forthcoming referendum.